The Universal Heart: Silence in Relation

By Keira Madsen at

The Universal Heart (UH): Silence in Relation

… is a path of hope and beauty. It is infused by our soul’s longing to belong wholeheartedly to life. Our desire for authentic relation to life is fuelled by a sacred-remembering of our belonging in God (or Source). Deep remembering has a quality of Grace-in-action and has a profoundly restorative effect on our ancestral, collective, and personal wounding.

The Universal Heart is the still-point at the centre of the Inner Constellation Mobile (ICM) and offers the deepest mystical transmission of my work to date. Regular group encounters with its  spacious emergence invites body, heart, and mind to titrate within a larger life-dimension that holds with compassion the wounded-matrix of humanity. Our willingness to make the moment-by-moment choice to slow down and listen to our embodied experience is simple but radical. It is nothing less than the generous path of remembering our soul’s timeless and unconditional belonging.

Four Universal Heart Practice Groups:*

  1. Universal Heart in Relational : a signature on-line master-series offered annually from October to March.
  2. Free Universal Heart Gatherings : offered on-line on the Wednesday’s nearest solstice & equinox.
  3. Alumni Gatherings –  on-line meetings (prerequisites & dates below)
  4. Nature-Informed Silent Retreats: quarterly in-person events intended to in-form our bodies through nature-attunement. 

*Details for each option correspond by number below.

1. Universal Heart in Relation Series

* Please Note: this annual deep-dive exploration is limited to 8 participants
The Annual Universal Heart (UH) in Relation Series is designed to give extended support to awakening the subtle relational nature of our heart. Each month offers a practice theme that supports a gentle connection with our soul. Within this spaciousness we can turn towards our challenges and discover that they are the most vital part of our spiritual walk. This allows us to be more generous with our places of pain and disconnection, and to realize that our struggles are not just personal, but also generational and collective.

A palpable coherence lives within each of us as the Universal Heart. Every moment we choose to slow down, witness, and receive our experience of life in this moment, we deepen and stabilize coherence within our nervous systems. When working as a group we magnify and awaken both individual, ancestral, and collective potential.

October 2023: The Still Language of the Soul. What supports deep listening in your life: nature, ritual, ceremony, prayer, dance, yoga, meditation, breath, scripture, writing, sound, chanting etc.? In deep listening the vertical resonance of our soul begins to inform our body, heart, and mind.

November 2023: Understanding Human Conditioning. An experiential witnessing of our human condition is a slowing down to be with life as it is: as opposed to externalizing life as something happening “to us.” (This month’s 3-hour session features a classic-style ICM.)

December 2023: Listening through the Nervous System. Our nervous system is the wisdom-keeper of our human journey—both light and shadow. Experiencing the nervous system’s timeless wisdom grounds a deep sense of purpose and trust in life.

January 2024: Recognizing our bodies as a flow of Ancestors walking through time. When we heal, the ancestors heal, as do future generations. What changes when we experience glimmers of of this humbling reality?

February 2024: Spaciousness as the elixir of change. A small amount of spaciousness births the timeless blessing presence. (This month’s 3-hour session features a classic-style ICM.)

March 2024: Global Social Witnessing is the practice of identifying our essential relationship with the world around us. In effect, we are here as the world changing itself. Experiencing life through deep relationship is the awakening of the Universal Heart.

Cost: $525  (Cdn. $, includes $100 down payment)

Cost: $425 (for previous UH participants) 

Monthly Structure:
  • Twice-monthly Saturday Meetings :  The 1st Saturday is 3 hours (10  AM to 1 PM Pacific) and the 2nd  Saturday is a 1.5 hours (10 to 11:30 AM Pacific). The 1st Saturday features a full or partial Inner Constellation Mobile (ICM); the 2nd Saturday features small and large group explorations of the monthly theme.
  • Weekly emailed meditations and sound healings (These are theme-related to support the weekly dyad practices.)
  • Weekly Dyads: Dyads help to ground our inner-discoveries within relationship and therefore within the intimate details of our everyday life. These can be made on zoom or phone and are 20 – 30 minutes (with partner changes every 4 or 5 weeks).

Monthly Schedule: 

October  14  &   21 (2023)

November  4   &   18

December  2 (*ICM Workshop) & 16

January 6  &  20 (2024)

February  10 (*ICM Workshop)  & 17

March  2   &   16

Important Reminder: If this is your first series and you have not met me before, please phone (+1) 604-222-4111 prior to registering. This is a routine check-in to make sure this program is a good fit for you.

2. Free Universal Heart Gatherings

… these quarterly on-line events are designed to synchronize our nervous system with the seasonal rhythm of the earth. In 2023, we gather on the following Wednesdays: March 22, June 21, Sept. 20, & Dec. 20 from 10 to 11:30 AM Pacific. (Please contact me by text or phone at 604-222-4111, if you wish to be added to the email reminder list.)

Each of these quarterly gatherings consists of a theme-related guided meditation, triad sharing, and large group sharing. If there is time, we close by creating a whiteboard drawing together to express our experience. This is sent to all the participants, along with recordings of the meditation and group sharing.

Spring Equinox Emergence as Becoming: Like sap rising, discovering the fresh energizes of spring-emergence awakens a thrilling promise within our heart.

We have to discern the heart first, then bring in the mind. The heart doesn’t mean the emotions. Listening to our heart means to fall into silence, into quietness. The impulse of our heart arises from stillness. As it arises it becomes freedom, and carries great excitement with it, great certainty (Richard Rudd, The Gene Keys).

Summer Solstice Tending our Belonging: What has ripened within us that allows for more wisdom, depth, meaning, and relational flow?

Fall Equinox Rooting through the Ancestors: Precise nervous system attunement to even one ancestor can deeply transform our life orientation.
Bowing to the Ancestors, 
holding more intimately the disrupted ground I stand upon. 
Honouring the wounded life my body wears
invites eternal belonging ...

Learning to bow becomes a blessing stream.
A home for Restoration
A place of Peace
A walk with timeless Grace ...
Winter Solstice Attending to the darkness before turning to the light honours the mystery of our origin, and the universal womb from which all life is born. In darkness the innate depth of our soul in God/Source is deeply nourished, as the dark soil of the mystery provides the spacious womb for the light’s seed. Its arrival in our awareness is the light born of darkness, and can radically change our life’s orientation.
  • The secret of our greatest blessing lies within the sacred relationship between the dark and the light.

    By honouring the darkness, we also honour the unborn, hidden, denied, and exiled parts of ourselves and humanity.

    We turn towards the light, not to get away from the dark, but to honour the mystery of life and our soul’s timeless belonging here.

3.  Alumni Gatherings 2023

Alumni gatherings are open to those who have participated in a minimum of 2 ICM Workshops, a Universal Heart Series, or a Returning to Silence mini-series*.

  • 2023 Alumni gatherings are from 10 to 11:30 AM Pacific on the first Sunday of alternating months: Feb. 5, April 2, June 4, Aug. 6, Oct. 1, & Dec. 3.
  • Designed to till the soil of our group’s depth and connection, we will begin with meditation and group sharing.
  • The direction of the group will evolve organically with the option of a full or partial ICM, sound healing, or simple practices that support inner-stillness and unconditional belonging.
  • All sessions are recorded and emailed to participants after the session.

Cost: $100 (Canadian) for one year

* The Returning to Silence mini-series is a sporadic 6 -week on-line course usually offered in the spring between ICM Workshops and/or the annual Universal Heart in Relation Series.

4. Nature-informed Silent Retreats

2023 Vancouver Retreats:in-person on Saturdays - July 22, Sept 30, Dec. 23 (10 AM to 4 PM)
* Please note that these retreats are limited to 8 participants

Illustration by Maurice Sendak from Open House for Butterflies by Ruth Krauss

Nature holds our bodies in a way that allows us to relax. Relaxation allows the nervous system to down-regulate. 
A down-regulated nervous system is one that listens. 

In listening, we discover that we are not separate from nature or from life — our heart pumping, our breath, the feel of our feet on the ground, the smell of roses and lavender, the taste of tea - all the ways nature enjoys herself through our body.

Attuning to water, wind, trees, birds, wood, bugs, grass, flowers, dirt, and more - through smell, hearing, touch, sight, taste, and the timeless intuition within Silence, we discover home in our heart, mind, and body.

*Where appropriate vocal sound healing will be used to relax the nervous system and open channels of receptivity and Silence within the body.
Cost: $75  
The Universal Heart Comes Offering Flowers
(A Universal Heart Blessing)

The universal heart comes offering flowers

innocent and profound.
... When not seen or acknowledged,
different hearts take root:

The protected-heart
that has no
for the timeless beauty
of the flowers

The sad-heart that feels
separate from the whole.
The wounded-heart that echos
the deaf aloneness of wounded life.

The primal call of wounded-life
awakens the grounded-heart that listens

through the grace
of her timeless-feet.

The mind-heart that hears
the sound of timeless-feet
as energy rushes up the body
and joins the joyful-heart.

The joyful-heart

that remembers the
offering of flowers
from the universal-heart.